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Name: Reading Abbey Mill Arch and wall, Reading, Berkshire
HER Number: 01022.01.000
Record Type: Monument

Grid Reference: SU 718 734
Administrative Area/Parish:Reading, Reading, Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Summary

A Grade II listed monument built between 1121-1164, part of the scheduled monument of Reading Abbey.

Monument Types

  • ARCH (Medieval - 1121 AD to 1164 AD)
  • WATERMILL (Demolished, Medieval to Modern - 1121 AD to 1959 AD)

Description

To the south of the main abbey complex and spanning Holy Brook, is a single 13th century arch, all that remains of the abbey mill. The mill wheel is thought to have been positioned to the east of the arch. Additional lesser medieval buildings, possibly associated with the abbey complex have been recorded in this vicinity. This arch forms part of the scheduled monument of Reading Abbey.

The mill was sited on the Holy Brook, a natural tributary of the Kennet which formed the southern boundary of the Abbey. The mill is to the east of the stable blocks, and to the west of the bridge. The mill and stables form part of the outer precinct, to the southwest of the main monastic complex. The mill was a single, undershot, wheel within a two storey flint and Caen stone mill house. Built between 1121 and 1164, the mill house straddled the Holy Brook, with arches over the Holy Brook. The mill survived to the early 1960s. The eastern wall was demolished prior to construction of Abbey Mill House. The western wall survives <5>. The mill used 7 pairs of stones. The mill was in continuous use from its building until its closure in 1959. A record was made of the Post-medieval machinery by J K Major <1>. Parts of the medieval Abbey Mill were incorporated into the modern building and were investigated<1>. The surviving wall and arch of the Mill was photographically recorded in 2004 <5>.


<1> Berkshire Archaeological Society, 1963-4, Berkshire Archaeological Journal, Pages 83-91 (Journal). SRD6877.


<2> Berkshire Archaeological Society, 1971-2, Berkshire Archaeological Journal, Pages 65-116 "Excavation at Reading Abbey 1964-1967" by C.F. Slade. (Journal). SRD6876.


<3> English Heritage, 1993, Schedule entry copy for Reading Abbey: a Cluniac and Benedictine monastery and Civil War earthwork (Scheduling record). SRM13007.


<4> Museum of London Archaeology Service, 2004, Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults Abbey Square Reading: An Archaeological Evaluation Report, Pages 6-7 (Unpublished document). SRM12815.


<5> 2004, Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults- Condition Survey on Reading Abbey Mill Arch (Unpublished document). SRM13412.


<6> The Miller, 1881, The Miller: British and Irish Flour Mills, Pages 740-741 Abbey Flour Mills, Reading (Bibliographic reference). SRM13430.


<7> Museum of London Archaeology Service, 2009, Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults - Archaeological watching brief report (Unpublished document). SRM13757.


<8> Scott Wilson, 2001, Forbury Gardens and Abbey Ruins, Reading - Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent Application, Page 11 (Unpublished document). SRM14298.


<9> Historic England, The National Heritage List for England, List entry number: 1113390 (Index). SRD12029.

Sources

<1>Berkshire Archaeological Society. 1963-4. Berkshire Archaeological Journal. 61. Pages 83-91. [Journal / SRD6877]
<2>Berkshire Archaeological Society. 1971-2. Berkshire Archaeological Journal. 66. Pages 65-116 "Excavation at Reading Abbey 1964-1967" by C.F. Slade.. [Journal / SRD6876]
<3>English Heritage. 1993. Schedule entry copy for Reading Abbey: a Cluniac and Benedictine monastery and Civil War earthwork. AA 60919/1. [Scheduling record / SRM13007]
<4>Museum of London Archaeology Service. 2004. Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults Abbey Square Reading: An Archaeological Evaluation Report. Pages 6-7. [Unpublished document / SRM12815]
<5>2004. Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults- Condition Survey on Reading Abbey Mill Arch. [Unpublished document / SRM13412]
<6>The Miller. 1881. The Miller: British and Irish Flour Mills. Pages 740-741 Abbey Flour Mills, Reading. [Bibliographic reference / SRM13430]
<7>Museum of London Archaeology Service. 2009. Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults - Archaeological watching brief report. [Unpublished document / SRM13757]
<8>Scott Wilson. 2001. Forbury Gardens and Abbey Ruins, Reading - Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent Application. Page 11. [Unpublished document / SRM14298]
<9>Historic England. The National Heritage List for England. List entry number: 1113390. [Index / SRD12029]

Designations

  • Listed Building (II) 1113390: ABBEY MILL RUINS

Associated Events:

ERD71Abbey Mill House & Forbury Vaults, Reading, Berkshire
ERM1237Excavation at Reading Abbey - Abbey Mill
ERM232Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults, Abbey Square, Reading (Ref: BR-ABB02)
ERM724Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults - Condition Survey on Reading Abbey Mill Arch (Ref: BR-ABB02)
ERM930Abbey Mill House and Forbury Vaults (Ref: BR-ABB02)

Associated Monuments

MRD1374Reading Abbey, Reading, Berkshire (Monument)

Associated Finds:

  • FRD2626 - SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)